SOLON, Ohio — Demolition seems imminent for the Lynch property — a 114-year-old home at 34025 Bainbridge Street — after Metropolis Council rejected a lease settlement with the Solon Historic Society for occupancy of the city-owned property.
On Tuesday (Jan. 21), council voted Three-2 to authorize Mayor Ed Kraus to enter into the lease settlement with the historic society’s Board of Trustees. However the ordinance failed as a result of a minimum of 4 affirmative votes from council have been wanted to cross it as an emergency measure, metropolis Legislation Director Thomas Lobe mentioned.
Ward 7 Councilman William Russo and Ward 1 Councilman Macke Bentley solid the dissenting votes.
Ward 6 Councilman Bob Shimits, president of the Solon Historic Society, and Ward 5 Councilwoman and Vice Mayor Nancy Meany, who additionally serves on the society’s board, each abstained to keep away from a battle of curiosity.
The lease settlement known as for the historic society to put $300,000 into an escrow account for the repairs and renovation of the home, which was in-built 1905 and wishes in depth repairs. The town would have been liable for selecting an architect and engineer for design of the home, in addition to a contractor.
Council’s security and public properties committee had really helpful acceptance of the lease settlement Jan. eight.
Council has wrestled with what to do with the Lynch home, which the town bought round 2005, for a few years.
In an interview Wednesday (Jan. 22), Shimits mentioned it was “a really unhappy day for the town.”
“We had an excellent starting to our bicentennial celebration with Winterfest (Jan. 11), and we’ve adopted that up with (a choice that may lead to) demolition of one in all our century properties,” he mentioned. “It is very unlucky.
“The town had the chance to have a historic dwelling utterly paid for — each facet of the renovation of this century dwelling. However, sadly, they determined to not give it an opportunity.”
Shimits famous that the Lynch home is adjoining to the historic society’s important constructing at 33975 Bainbridge Street.
“That’s what made it so good for our wants,” he mentioned. “We’re very cramped for house in our present constructing, and (the Lynch home) would give us very much-needed cupboard space within the basement, so we might get our shows so as in the primary constructing. We have been hoping to show it to a selected time interval.”
Shimits mentioned the Lynch home would even have been used as a analysis space and for workplace house, “which we at present do not have.”
Shimits mentioned Kraus deserves a lot credit score “for backing up his dedication to not bulldoze the house, if we might provide you with a lease settlement.”
“We did get it, lastly, nevertheless it’s so disheartening (that the ordinance failed),” he mentioned. “We have been in full settlement with the phrases. I didn’t assume we have been going to have an issue developing with $300,000. It’s simply very disappointing.”
Three-2 vote not adequate
Earlier than the vote, Lobe defined that if council selected to vote on the ordinance as an “emergency” — thereby suspending the three-reading rule — with solely 5 members voting, all 5 must vote in favor for it to take impact instantly.
4 affirmative votes would nonetheless cross the measure, however it might not take impact for 40 days, per the town’s constitution, Lobe mentioned. A Three-2 vote would lead to failure of the ordinance, he mentioned.
Russo, who ran this portion of the assembly as alternate vice mayor with Meany having recused herself, expressed robust opposition to the lease settlement. He additionally voted to droop the principles so the ordinance may very well be declared an emergency. That vote was 5-Zero.
“I believe this has gone on lengthy sufficient,” Russo mentioned. “We have to decide and transfer ahead.”
Bentley, council’s latest member who was elected in November, initially voted in favor of the ordinance, which might have handed it, Four-1. However then he mentioned he “voted the fallacious method” and requested if council might vote once more.
“I assumed we have been voting once more on the emergency,” Bentley mentioned. “I apologize.”
Lobe once more defined the procedural elements of the voting, and one other vote was taken, this time leading to a Three-2 consequence.
In an interview Wednesday (Jan. 22), Kraus mentioned he was “not utterly stunned” with the best way council voted.
“I believe members of council spent a while going by way of the home,” he mentioned. “It is in an actual state of disrepair, so it might have taken a yeoman’s work simply to get it as much as code, even to be accessible to the general public. Council kind of struggled with that.”
Kraus mentioned he supported the lease settlement on two situations: that no funds to restore or renovate the home would come from the town and that the town would have full management over the undertaking.
“I made up my thoughts that (the town) was not going to spend a dime on the home,” he mentioned. “I felt that if the historic society determined that they wished to protect it with their funds, I’d comply with that settlement.
“It was equally necessary to me that we weren’t going to spend a dime on the onerous prices of (fixing up) the home and that the town would run the development.”
Kraus mentioned he believes the town’s authentic plan after buying the home was “to maintain it and repair it, make it one thing good that the general public might have entry to.”
“However these previous properties want quite a lot of work,” he mentioned.
Kraus mentioned that for the reason that lease was not authorized, the town will search bids for demolition of the home.
“The (metropolis’s) two decisions have been to enter right into a lease settlement with the historic society or tear the home down,” he mentioned. “The general public works commissioner (William Drsek) will get quotes, together with quotes on one or two different city-owned homes which will need to be demolished.”
Russo: ‘Adhere to grasp plan’
Russo’s major challenge with repairing and renovating the Lynch home was that the property didn’t seem on two maps of the town’s grasp plan crafted in 2010.
That truth was confirmed by metropolis Planning Director Rob Frankland, who at Russo’s request offered a grasp plan map to council that confirmed the home eliminated and an amphitheater on the property. One other model of the map reveals it as open house, Frankland mentioned.
Russo additionally requested Angee Shaker, the town’s director of enterprise improvement and advertising, to indicate council a conceptual video produced final yr for the town, titled “Reimagining Solon.” The Lynch home doesn’t seem within the video, which focuses on making Solon “a extra welcoming group,” Shaker mentioned.
Lastly, Russo requested Drsek to indicate council images of what the home seems like.
Drsek produced quite a lot of images exhibiting the outside and inside of the home. He famous that the sandstone basis reveals some deterioration, the entrance porch “most likely wants full reconstruction” and home windows are boarded up.
Pictures of the home’s inside additionally confirmed in depth injury, a few of which may very well be “anticipated with a century-old dwelling,” Drsek mentioned.
“Solon’s constitution does require the mayor and council to stick to the grasp plan,” Russo mentioned. “Primarily based on a map of the grasp plan and the financial improvement video, there’s no proof to help that we’re adhering to the grasp plan (by preserving the Lynch property).
“If the town can’t adhere to the grasp plan with property it owns, how can we ask different property homeowners or builders to combine the idea of the grasp plan with their improvement plans?” he requested.
Russo additionally famous that the town is anticipated to spend about $20 million on infrastructure this yr, just like the quantity it spent final yr. He added that the town will seemingly do work on the Bull home — a historic property on Bainbridge Street that dates to the 1830s and is known as for one of many metropolis’s founders — this yr.
“I don’t consider we have to have public works or different departments spend further time for one thing that’s not benefiting nearly all of residents in Solon,” Russo mentioned. “To me, focus ought to be on the Bull dwelling throughout this bicentennial yr, getting that on top of things.”
Russo prefaced his feedback by saying his opposition “has nothing to do with the folks concerned with the historic society.”
“I consider the folks concerned are very properly meant, and I consider Bob and Mary Shimits have achieved an impressive job of taking the time to be sure that residents are conscious of the historical past of Solon,” he mentioned.
Mary Shimits, Bob Shimits’ spouse, serves because the historic society’s secretary.
However Russo later mentioned that the gadgets on show within the historic society are collectible gadgets “which will or could not have something to do with Solon.”
“They’re displayed in a cramped, unorganized method within the higher degree,” he mentioned. “What little has been achieved during the last 4 years to repair up the present constructing the historic society is utilizing doesn’t give me confidence that the Lynch home will likely be something greater than house to retailer extra previous gadgets.”
‘Gentle prices’ concern Bentley
In an interview after the assembly, Bentley mentioned he voted no as a result of, after touring the home, he concluded that the town’s sources towards the undertaking would have been vital.
“The onerous prices would have been paid for by the historic society, however the mushy prices the town would have incurred would have been main,” he mentioned.
Ward Three Councilman Jeremy Zelwin mentioned he supported the lease settlement “so long as the historic society pays for all onerous prices associated to the lease and the development of the undertaking.”
“I can’t help the town spending any cash towards the onerous prices of the undertaking,” he mentioned.
Ward Four Councilman Marc Kotora mentioned he was “considerably torn” on the problem and likewise questioned why the Lynch home was not proven within the “Reimagining Solon” video. He additionally requested why the town would enter into negotiations on a property that wasn’t a part of its grasp plan.
However in the end, after listening to Kraus’ rationale for shifting ahead, Kotora voted for the ordinance.
The proposed lease settlement said that if the historic society’s board have been to fail to deposit all funds, default or not abide by its phrases, the town would raze the constructing inside 30 days. Phrases of the settlement would have continued by way of Dec. 31, 2025.
The historic society leases its headquarters — the previous Disciples of Christ Church constructing — from the town.
Officers earn promotions
At the start of the assembly, Kraus administered the oath of workplace to 3 members of the town’s security forces who earned promotions: Police Sgt. Steven Wagner, Hearth Lt. Neil Kaptein and Hearth Battalion Chief Steve Tajgiszer.
Council additionally voted to maneuver its Feb. 17 assembly to Feb. 18 as a consequence of Presidents’ Day.
Learn extra from the Chagrin Solon Sun.